The Journey Continues….

Home safe and sound and I can happily report that my garmet bag was right where I left it, in my bedroom, fully packed. I may have left my luggage at home but I have now have a nice new suit, dress shirt, dress shoes, socks, tie, tie clip and several casual articles of clothing.

An important lesson learned, when you type the words “mall” “men’s clothing” and “chicago” into a search engine, you really need to be more specific about your desired location. I did get to learn the highway and toll road system in and around Chicago as well as its outer suburbs. Unlimited mileage on a rental car is a beautiful thing. Thank the Lord for GPS.

As desired, I exercised the opportunity to be “here and now” for my family. Here and now meant giving my sister-in-law a sounding board as she attended to the seemingly endless details that accompany the death of a spouse, gladly playing chauffeur and picking up arrive family members from the airport, taking my niece dress shopping and later my nephew suit shopping; it meant being there as boxes and chests were opened which contained my brother’s most treasured items; it meant speaking on behalf of the family at my brother’s memorial. In the end, just being there was more than enough.   Again thank-you for your many thoughts and prayers.

As I also mentioned in my last post, new challenges awaited upon my return. My kids quickly engulfed me in school and extra curricular activities, work layered more than enough back on my plate as all were eagerly awaiting my return, then there was my Dad.

I took Dad to the cardiologist within days of my return. The Dr feels an existing problem may indeed be worsening. More tests and several more appointments as pending to determine the nature and extend of the problem. He reconfirmed a previous discussion he and I have had. If it is what we suspect, there aren’t a lot of treatment options. Still not a crisis, no hospitalization needed but I became more aware of the symptoms my dad has been having and had to actively fight the sensation that I was standing by watching yet another loved one die.

In the course of getting my Dad ready for his appointment and transporting him, the facility staff asked him who was I?  Dad looked up at me and said, “that’s my friend….”

You could look at that negatively and think how sad that he didn’t recognize his son. But what son wouldn’t want to hear his Dad describe him to others as “his friend.” (I just realized that my favorite nickname for my son is “Paisan”) I don’t think I’ve ever heard those words from my Dad before. I proudly carry them now.



6 thoughts on “The Journey Continues….

  1. Avatar of Bette

    Hi Jo,
    You and your Dad have a very special friendship – one that shows friends stay together no matter what. (:

    Dementia can be so awful and yet it gives such strong food for thought and safe keeping.

    You should feel so good about the week-end and all that you were for your family. It sounds like your niece and nephew have a relationship with you that provides a strong example and one that will always keep their dad’s memory strong.

    I wish you and your kids could pick up your packed suitcase and do something special together…hoping for that time for you all real soon.

    • Avatar of JoJo Post author

      Thanks Bette,
      My Kids and I did something fun when I got back although it didn’t involve a suitcase. As per the season we went on a local haunted hayride. It was good family fun. Last year when we went my daughter started off in the seat next to me and ended up in my lap. This year she did much better… she only buried herself in my arms. :-)

  2. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Hi Jo–I hope your next trip to Chicago will include lunch with me. :) I can be your GPS.

    I’m so glad the trip went as well as could be expected. I just love how you help in ways that are soooo helpful–the dress and suit shopping, in particular, are such touching moments for your niece and nephew. I know all still feel your presence.

    When I read how your dad described you, I gasped. Not from surprise but from sheer delight. What a wonderful description. You are his friend. His dearest friend and comrade.

    You’re a good one. :)

  3. Trish

    Jo, How wonderful to be described as your dad’s friend! You are such a pillar of strength for your parents, your niece & nephew and, of course, your children. I’ve always heard the best way to get to know a new city is to get lost in it so good job. :-)

  4. G-J

    Jo, I’m sure you brought great comfort to your sister-in-law and her children during a time when you are experiencing your own grief. You are an amazing person. Whenever I read your posts, I feel inadequate even posting a response.

    Good luck as you take your dad to his new appointments. How lovely that he thinks of you as his friend.

  5. Avatar of KathyKathy


    I actually smile at the “that’s my friend” part :)
    You are so right.
    Who doesn’t want to hear their parents claim friendship with them?

    I know the last several weeks have been tough on you. If they haven’t I will think you are superman. Right now I think you are a super man. You handle so well your roles as father, son, brother, and friend. I am encouraged by your strength and resolve.


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